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October 2018 Monthly News - Able Accountants

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You’re here because you’re keen to learn of the latest developments in the world of accounting. We’re here with this blog post because we’re keen to put you in the picture. In fact this is the first in an intended ongoing series of monthly blog posts that will keep you up to date with all the need to know info from the modern accounting world.

So, be sure to check in with us on a regular basis for updates that are sure to pique your interest and alert you to any need to know changes. In this blog post we’ll be covering all the latest October news, from phishing emails to the UK budget.

Tax and NI Contributions

No, we haven’t skipped autumn and winter and gone right on through to spring, it is still October. However, some employers will need to make their tax and national insurance payments by the 22nd of October, 2018.

How come? Well, you probably suspect this already, but let’s clarify and confirm for you. The tax and national insurance payments are, in this case, required to satisfy a 2017/18 PAYE Settlement Agreement.

This 2017/2018 PAYE Settlement is particularly relevant to employers who have one of these agreements in place to satisfy the tax and national insurance contributions for their employees for the financial year ended 5th April, 2018.

The payment can be made electronically, and in such cases the funds will need to have cleared by 22nd October, 2018. This might be a bit of a tight deadline by the time this has been published, but hopefully you have all your ducks in a row and have everything set up in good time.

£15.6m Discovered in Minimum Wage Underpayments

HMRC has revealed a total of £15.6m in minimum wage underpayments. This is double the amount underpaid in 2016/2017 and the highest figure since the debut of the National Minimum Wage.

Information from HMRC also revealed that 200,000 workers were affected by the underpayments. As a result of the findings £14m has been handed down to employers in fines. Workers within gig economy sectors, as well as social care and retail, are amongst those that HMRC believes are most at risk.

Updated HMRC Phishing Guidelines

HMRC has provided the latest advice on how to spot phishing emails and texts, and how to identify genuine contact from the organisation. It’s quite a detailed document, so do take your time reading through it to avoid becoming a victim. You can familiarise yourself with all the essentials by clicking here.

Defaulting on Tax Payments

An updated list of deliberate tax defaulters has been released by HMRC. The individuals are listed as deliberate tax defaulters due to apparently declining to provide a “full and immediate disclosure when HMRC started to investigate or prior to any investigation”.

These tax defaulters have incurred penalties because they have deliberately supplied incorrect paperwork to HMRC, decline to fall in line with HMRC demands or fallen foul of VAT or excise regulations.

UK Budget

It has been announced that the UK budget will be revealed on 29th October. Brexit uncertainty will no doubt have hampered Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, as he prepares to lay out the budget which will affect the entire UK. However, there are other factors, such as the NHS budget, which some are saying will necessitate a rise in income tax. Political and financial pundits are predicting updates to tax rates and reliefs to help to raise income tax.

Survey Time

Another month, another survey. How do small businesses feel that a so-called “No Deal” Brexit will affect them? Yes, Brexit news continues to dominate the media, but the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has conducted a survey of 1,234 small businesses that has yielded some interesting results.

For instance, do you find it surprising that 41% of the businesses surveyed who believe a no deal Brexit will impact their business, haven’t taken any action to limit the impact? How about this? A meagre 14% of small businesses have actually begun to plan for no deal.

You can read the full FSB press release here and come to your own conclusions. 

Self Assessment “Paper” Tax Returns

Major news for those who usually submit so-called “paper” self-assessment tax returns. If anyone misses the 31st October 2018 deadline for the paper version, they will need to submit it electronically. Those who have missed the deadline and don’t wish to submit their self-assessment electronically will be fined a minimum of £100, regardless of the timely payment of any taxes.

Class 2 National Insurance

There had been suggestions that self employed Class 2 national insurance contributions would come to an end from April 2019. Class 2 national insurance is a low-cost way for the low-profit self-employed to maintain their state pension. A study has been carried out to evaluate the viability of a plan to abolish Class 2 contributions, but this plan has been shelved, for now.

Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, has said: 'A significant number of self-employed individuals on the lowest profits would have seen the voluntary payment they make to maintain access to the State Pension rise substantially. Having listened to those likely to be affected by this change we have concluded that it would not be right to proceed during this parliament, given the negative impacts it could have on some of the lowest earning in our society.'

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